Spot Prawns are spot on at Provence

Spot Prawn Season is on.  Need I say more?  Check out this menu from Provence Marinaside and Provence Mediterranean Grill in Vancouver.

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Spot prawn

Spot prawn

(Vancouver, BC) – May is a favourite month with Vancouverites – not just because it has finally stopped raining and the city is awash in spring blossoms – no, it’s because May marks the beginning of Spot Prawn Season. Spot Prawn season officially opens this year on Saturday, May 10th. For six weeks, Lower Mainlanders revel in the juicy sweetness of these local ‘gems of the sea.’  Whether you prefer yours steamed or grilled or poached, everyone can agree there is nothing more heavenly than enjoying spot prawns accompanied by a glass of cool, crisp wine.

Spot Prawns are a succulent, sustainable and local product of our oceans. It is a sustainable fishery endorsed by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Ocean Wise Program – but more than being environmentally correct, spot prawns are delicious. “Simply prepared there is nothing sweeter and tastier than a spot prawn,” says Jean-Francis Quaglia, owner and executive chef at Provence Restaurants.

Both Provence locations – Mediterranean Grill (P1) in Point Grey and Marinaside (P2) in Yaletown, will be featuring special three-course Spot Prawn Menus for the duration of the season which usually goes to the end of June. Each restaurant’s menu, while shining the spotlight on the spot prawn, is completely different and priced differently.

Provence Mediterranean Grill’s Menu is priced at $48 and starts with a choice of Steamed Whole BC Spot Prawns or Chilled BC Spot Prawn Salad or Spot Prawn Velouté. For mains there are two choices – Flambéed Spot Prawn Duo (with your choice of halibut or beef tenderloin) or Pearl Couscous Risotto with Spot Prawns and Dungeness Crab. Dessert is a choice from the menu – perhaps a slice of their famed Clafoutis? Full menu details here.

Provence Marinaside’s Menu includes an optional wine pairing selected by sommelier Rachelle Goudreau.  The Menu price is listed as ‘at Market’ which means it should average in the $50 range with the wine pairing available for an additional $20.  At Marinaside diners start with a choice of Merguez Sausage with Mixed Greens or Bocconcini and Tomato with Mixed Greens or Yellow Tomato Gazpacho (wine: Montelvini Prosecco, Italy). For mains, Marinaside offers a choice of Spot Prawn Duo – Grilled and Provençal Style (wine: Birlocho 2011 Verdejo+Sauvignon Blanc  Rueda, Spain) or Lois Lake Steelhead and BC Spot Prawns (wine: Bartier Bros. 2012 Semillon Okanagan, BC) or Halibut and BC Spot Prawns (wine: Le Vieux Pin 2012 Rosé  Okanagan, BC).  Dessert is a choice from the restaurant’s regular menu. Its signature Lemon Tarte would make a lovely finish accompanied by a glass of the suggested wine – Unsworth Ovation Vancouver Island, BC. Full menu details here.

With special menus, such as Spot Prawn Season, or the Tomato Festival later in the summer, the two locations engage in a little friendly rivalry over who creates the best menu. Check out Provence’s Spot Prawn Video from 2012, try both menus and “you be the judge.” After all, with such a short season, you can never have too many spot prawns.

Aboriginal Potlach Food & Wine Pairing at the CCFCC Chef’s Conference

I mentioned in a previous blog post about the CCFCC coming to Vancouver and all the wonderful events there are, and that it is not just restricted to chefs to attend. You can buy tickets to these events and watch and/or sample the chefs’ creations. One of the events I will be attending is the Aboriginal Potlach on Monday evening, June 13. I thought I’d entice you to buy a ticket by posting the food and wine pairings for this event.

Food and Wine Pairing for the Aboriginal Potlach

  • R and B Brewing Beer Station
  • Traditionally smoked salmon parsnip dumpling, pumpkin sauce PAIRED WITH
    Eau Vivre Gewurztraminer and Tangled Vines 3 Blancs
  • Spot prawn, poached in bentwood box sweet onion, garlic cream PAIRED WITH
    Haywire Pinot Gris and Misconduct Misfit
  • Spiced seafood cakes, corn puree dandelion salad PAIRED WITH
    Rustic Roots Apple Pear and Bartier Scholfield Rose
  • Smoked trout apple salad young cress, wild mushroom vinaigrette PAIRED WITH
    Cassini Pinot Noir and Rollingdale Pinot Noir
  • Rabbit sausage king oyster ragout, blueberry pine nut chutney PAIRED WITH
    Black Cloud Pinot Noir and Hester Creek Character Red
  • Braised bison brisket roasted squash salad, roasted onions, natural sauce PAIRED WITH
    St. Hubertus Oak Bay Foch and Fairview 2 Hoots
  • Roast venison loin sweet potato sauce, savory bannock bread pudding PAIRED WITH
  • The View Pinotage and Noble Ridge Meritage
  • Cinnamon bannock fritters Brown sugar cranberry sauce PAIRED WITH
    Raven Ridge Iced Cider and Tugwell Mead
  • Bannock bread pudding, sundried berry egg sauce PAIRED WITH
    Vista D’Oro and The View Optima

This is a pretty impressive lineup of food from our First Nations people here plus it is being paired with BC wines and there is also mead, which I have never tried. This type of meal is a one of a kind deal in my opinion.  There is also a brand new BC wine in the lineup: Bartier Scholfield Rose. I blogged about this new winery in a previous post, so I’ll add the link back so you can read about Bartier Scholfield.

If you would like to attend this event, please click on this link to buy tickets for the Aboriginal Potlach.  Enjoy!